Alumna Aurora White has been selected by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) as the 2023 Most Promising Engineer. White earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 2016.
The professional award was presented at the 2023 AISES National Conference, held Oct. 19-21 in Spokane, Washington.
White, currently a torque calibration security engineer for Stellantis, is an active member of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. She earned her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, Michigan.
In her award description, AISES award committee describes White’s many accomplishments: “Aurora White loves hands-on work, whether it’s being in a vehicle as a calibration engineer or building furniture at her mom’s house. White works for Stellantis N.V., a multinational automotive company and mobility provider that includes Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat brands. White has worked in a variety of engineering roles, including instrumentation and diagnostics. She has received numerous awards for leading projects in vehicle testing and analysis. She has earned Design for Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and was selected for a new Stellantis leadership development program in 2022. White now serves on that program’s board, while serving as treasurer for the Indigenous Cultural Opportunity Network, a Stellantis business resource group.”
“I want to inspire our Indigenous youth to show them that all things are possible.”
“I am so excited to represent my community, MTU, OU and Stellantis,” said White.
White grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “I have been a part of AISES since I was an undergrad at Michigan Tech. I was the AISES Michigan Tech secretary and then president,” wrote White in a LinkedIn post. “AISES has always made me feel like I belong and have a purpose,” she continued. “I have strived to incorporate my culture/traditions into every aspect of my life, whether it is at home or in the workplace.”
As an undergraduate student at Michigan Tech, White was an active member in the Engineering Ambassadors and Women’s Leadership Council. She studied abroad at the Leibniz University Hannover, Germany, and received internships with GE Aviation Mechanical Engineering; the Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy Program at Iowa State University; and Indian Health Services.
She was also active in outreach activities, presenting at Family Engineering events in Baraga, L’Anse and Detroit with coordinator Joan Chadde, and presenting virtually as part of the Michigan Space Grant Consortium grant project “Native American Women in STEM & Natural Resources’ in spring 2020.
“It means the world to me when I hear from younger students that I am a role model or someone that they look up to,” said White. “I want to make the 7-year-old me proud that I had big dreams for the future. ”
White’s future interest is in automotive electrification, while also promoting Indigenous values into design and the workplace.